Hearing adjourned in Delhi govt’s plea against stay on reserving 80% ICU beds for Covid

Patients infected with the novel coronavirus
Covid 19 Patients in Hospital (File)

New Delhi, Oct 9 : The Delhi High Court on Friday adjourned to November 27 the hearing on a petition moved by the Delhi government challenging the stay order passed by a single judge bench on its order directing private hospitals in the national capital to reserve 80 per cent of ICU beds for Covid-19 patients.

A division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan adjourned the matter for further hearing to November 27.

On the previous date of hearing, the court, while issuing notice over the petition moved by the Delhi government, had refused to vacate at this stage the stay imposed by the single judge.

While the hearing in the matter was underway before the division bench, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain had submitted that the government has directed only 2 per cent of the private hospitals to reserve the ICU beds. “We are in the mid of one of the worst pandemics,” Jain said.

“Covid-19 is a clever virus. With it, everyday is like a game of chess, the game is on and we have to take dynamic decisions,” Jain submitted before the court while adding that currently, the upsurge of cases is extraordinary.

“There are three types of Covid patients – mild, moderate and serious. It takes little time for a moderate patient to become serious and for the same reason we need more ICU beds. When we say ICU beds are needed for Covid patients, it means that a patient may need heart care or lung care and hence, the need to increase the number of ICU beds,” Jain said.

Hearing the submissions made by Jain, who was appearing for the Delhi government, Justice Jalan said, “But as per your health bulletin, ICU beds are already empty and the single bench too noted the same.”

Jain had also submitted that the main petition on which the said order was passed was filed only on the basis of apprehension.

On September 22, a single judge bench of the high court stayed Delhi government’s order directing private hospitals in the national capital to reserve 80 per cent ICU beds for Covid-19 patients.

The order was passed on the petition filed by the Association of Healthcare Providers (India) through advocates Sanyam Khetarpal and Narita Yadav and was argued by senior advocate Maninder Singh.

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